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Soul Plonk EP - Cliff Lothar - Omnidisc

2013’s ‘White Savage’ on Viewlexx was one of the best debut records of the past decade, but Cliff Lothar doesn’t climb the same heights with ‘Soul Plonk’. The title track is all shifting tones and a buzzing bass that unfortunately sounds like Laurent Garnier’s ‘Sound of the Big Babou’ played at half speed.  ‘Slippin'’ is at best average hollowed-out house, with a grungy bass and a repetitive vocal sample, while ‘Bona Feed’ is a step in the right direction with its fusion of high-pitched notes and ominous bass rumble. Overall though, it’s a disappointing release. 

 
Samsara/Saturn V feat Rolling Thunder - Kollier - Breaks.SK

Encouraging debut from the Manchester-based producer. Lead track 'Samsara' is all lilting vocal, chunky beats and electro keys, while 'Saturn 5' plumps for a stretched-out, washed-out dystopian vibe, psychedelic snatches of muffled vocal drifting through the mix. Would probably sound great at Burning Man after five days dropping acid.

The Rebel - Avana - Fusion Records

Fusion Records have been picking up and breaking through a lot of new talent over the past 12 months and this new signing Avana is going to be a serious contender on the scene this year if this E.P is anything to go by. Great original production, delivering a solid hardstyle release without being over melodic or raw, bridging this gap perfectly, which the scene needs at the moment, featuring the classic "the rhythm, the rebel" vocal sample.

See Me Now - Dillytek feat Ellie - Keep It Up Music

Australian hardstyle duo Dillytek are back on Frontliners Keep It Up Music label with their third release, raising the bar each time as they prove why they are one of the hottest new acts on the scene. Keeping very much in the theme of this label, this new release features soaring hard trance melodies, big anthemic drops and a great vocal from Ellie, which is reminiscent of a UK hardcore tune. It's great to see new talent like this coming through from distant shores.